Couldn’t resist including one of the pictures of the departure from Astypalaia to Ios in the previous post already. Again I start the engines at the very very first light. It’s promising to be another excellent beginning of the day again so I even try to multitask by putting the drone in the air and driving the boat at the same time. Asking Marijke to get out of bed this early and come and help me seems a bigger risk than just combining a couple of things.
The wind is in a considerate mood as well, only 1 knot of true wind until the captain gets on deck. From one minute to the next we get a nice breeze , 12 to 15 knots and the code 0 is just begging to be out there and play.
Minor disadvantage is that at this speed we’re going to arrive in Ios before the end of the F1 race. Marijke prepares Greatcircle as far as possible for mooring, we even slow down a bit approaching the harbour where we moor at yet another quay than we did before in this harbour. We moor at the first position next to the ferry dock. Not a bad place to be with strong wind from the back. You have to be careful here though about the wash of the ferries. Especially the big Seajets cat comes racing into the bay and we would definitely crush our gangway to little pieces if we would just leave it be.
Seatramps Mario and Nina are already here and they help us with the lines as Mario lands his drone at the same time. The drone was already welcoming us outside the bay. As you know we already met Seatramp on Crete last year, in Tel Aviv this winter and again in Kos a couple of weeks ago. They have their own Youtube channel Sailing Seatramp which is currently trending #6 at Sailing-Channels.com. We can only hope that they’re going to be Youtube millionairs as well so there’s gonna be plenty of time for more mojito’s and pancakes.
We’ve been on Ios twice last year as well and we really enjoyed it. Our favourite harbour master Lukas was on holiday and our favourite restaurant Grandma’s will open in a couple of days, but there’s still plenty to do and see.
We walk uphill to the Chora where Mario tests his drone, but there’s just to much wind for the P3, which doesn’t yet have a S mode. No worries, we can always try later from the harbour with the P4. Mario and Nina invite us to a BBQ on Seatramp where we find more Cevapcici than we can eat. It’s fun to eat together so we don’t end up going to a restaurant every day.
Next morning we have to say goodbye to some uninvited houseguests. They’re building an impressive nest inside our boom. We already thought we heard noises every now and then, so apparently they have been airbnb-ing for a while now. Cute, but probably better if they are going to be cute somewhere else.
Mario and Nina want to see Santorini as well, but you can’t go there on a daytrip from Ios (you can from Crete). But why not use Greatcircle instead? we know from last year that anchoring in Santorini is not easy and far from reliable, especially without local knowledge. We will definitely not return to Vlikhadia marina on the south side of the island. This home base of all the daytrip catamarans is totally unsuitable for visiting yachts. Let’s just sail to Santorini and decide over there what options are available.
It’s just over 20 miles straight south, so we almost immediately have the strange looking island around the caldera in sight. Unfortunately we have to roll in the sail for lack of wind. Time for Marijke to prepare Mario and Nina for their visit to the famous island.
Still early in the season, so it’s by far not as busy as last year. We sail close to the steep black rock with the shiny white towns on top as we see several empty moorings. Can’t be a huge problem to lend one of them, but we’re already prepared for different rules and behaviour compared to other Greek islands.
We decide to use one of the moorings, I will stay on board when Marijke brings Mario & Nina ashore with the dinghy. And indeed, with a couple of minutes there’s someone next to us with his RIB to tell us that the moorings are private. We hear the same story as last year, that the moorings are under construction and they have to be checked by divers first.
Well, lets wait at least until the captain returns, there is still virtually no wind so I’ll take my chances, as we still haven’t found any alternative over here. Ashore Marijke was told by the restaurant owner that he of course doesn’t have a say in it but he thinks we’ll be apples over there. Marijke and I investigate the rest of the shore in the dinghy with Navionics in our hand but the bottom is just to irregular and seems to be full of rocks. In addition we don’t have good experiences with the holding of vulcanic sand.
Easy: let’s hold on to the mooring for now, but stay on board so we can leave it immediately when and if necessary. We’re not even able to reach the youngsters anyway, so the only remaining alternative would be to float around like we did last year when we picked up John & Serena over here.
Quite a walk from one side of Oia to the donkey trail on the other side and back again, but still enough time to make a tour in the caldera before we return to Ios. We sail around the 2 enormous cruise ships in front of the main town and then around the islands in the middle formed by the last eruptions. These little islands look even more agressive, pointy and black, wonderful contrast with the blue waters around it.
We’re not in a hurry as we plan to anchor in the bay south of Ios town. It’s shallow and sandy, so no problem if we would arrive in the dark. In the end we arrive just during another nice sunset.
Early next morning, we use the dinghy to drop the kids of at Seatramp and visit the supermarket at the harbour of Ios town. Seatramp is already anchored next to us when we return with the groceries. The wind is supposed to turn tomorrow so we try to anticipate a bit by moving the boat further to the south shore. If we’re lucky the swell won’t reach us over here even if it follows the shore around the corner.
Again we walk to Ios town, but this time it’s more of an effort as we have to climb to steep path uphill before we get there (and back again). We even follow Mario all the way down to the harbour again because he’s missing a critical part of his BBQ. This might have disappeared into the water when cleaning it, so we brought camera’s and snorkels to investigate whether it makes sense to dive into the harbour.
As Marijke is holding Mario’s feet, he’s able to stick his head in the water and instantly spots the missing piece. Good to know the effort was not in vane. We walk back to the bay to see the wind has turned indeed and we’ve got company from one of the early flottilas of this season. (They) Party party all night long of course, and it even ended positively as they noticed just in time that one of the boats was already floating out of the bay as they had their party on the beach.